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FC Barcelona are just 90 minutes away from what would be a third UEFA Women’s Champions League Final in just four years! They have travelled to Wolfsburg with a massive head start after winning the first leg at Camp Nou 5-1, and in front of what is expected to be a near capacity crowd at the Volkswagen Arena (kick off Saturday at 6.00pm CEST) they have everything in their favour to secure a trip to Turin for the final on May 21.
It’s been a simply extraordinary season for the defending European champions, who have won every single one of their 40 competitive fixtures played so far, scoring a staggering 197 goals in the process.
For the UWCL quarter final with Real Madrid, the team played at Camp Nou and attracted a new world record attendance for a women’s football match. They returned to the stadium for the semi-final first leg with Wolfsburg and broke their own record with an even more amazing crowd of 91,648 spectators.
And they kept those fans well entertained with a brilliant display against the German side, the five goals coming from Aitana Bonmati, Caroline Graham Hansen, Jenni Hermoso and a brace from Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Puellas.
Alexia’s goals meant she overtook Tabea Wassmuth to become the top scorer in the competition.
The She-Wolves, twice winners of this competition in the past, managed to pull one goal back through Dutch international Jill Roord, but the four-goal cushion leaves the Catalans in a very comfortable position indeed.
That being very true, there is still no room for over-confidence. Just this season Wolfsburg have beaten Chelsea 4-0 and Bayern Munich 6-0, so they are a side that knows how to score goals against big teams when they need to. However, they are once again without a key player in Lena Oberdorf, and Rebecka Blomqvist has not recovered from an ankle injury sustained in the first leg.
Barça, meanwhile, are missing Lieke Martens, Jana Fernandez and Bruna Vilamala. However, both Asisat Oshoala and Mariona Caldentey have been out for a while but were able to come on as substitutes in the first leg. If required, they should be fit to play an even bigger part today.
The Barça squad flew to Germany on Friday and after training in the match venue, coach Jonatan Giráldez and player Sandra Paños gave press conferences.
"We must be able to start the game well as we did at Camp Nou” said Giráldez. Even beyond the result there are always aspects to improve."
Goalkeeper Paños added that "we are aware that Wolfsburg are getting very strong at home and that it will be a very difficult match. We are a very ambitious team and we have no other goal than to win the game."
Should they qualify, Barça already know they’ll be facing a French team in the final, and Olympique Lyonnais have a narrow upper hand on Paris St Germain after winning the first leg 3-2. The second leg at the Parc des Princes starts immediately after Barça’s game at 9.00pm CEST.
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